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  • Bubble

    Bubble

    the back half of this movie hangs on one shot of a woman sat in a restaurant at night — images > words, and I wish it never explained itself.

  • A Ghost Story

    A Ghost Story

    A friend delivers a pie to a grieving woman, who is not home. When she returns, she cuts a portion of the pie and eats it, then another, and another. But she's only eating the middle, hollowing it out to leave the crusts to encircle a nothingness, a space where a rich taste used to be. Eating in this way is to miss the experience. There's nothing to balance the sweetness, and it becomes harder and harder to swallow. You…

  • The Girlfriend Experience

    The Girlfriend Experience

    "it feels like you're a big part of my life"

    every relationship is built on money and designed to feel like something else to the point that it all becomes normal. Transactions aren't a barrier to emotion anymore, and money validates a commitment more than love does. Why buy five sessions when you can buy twenty-five or fifty and save $400 over all? Why not throw away 18 months of a committed relationship to go on a weekend away with a wealthy client you've met once? Money is everything in a world without money.

  • The Unknown Girl

    The Unknown Girl

    "If I opened the door she'd be alive, like me"

    indigestion and vomiting — the benefit of release. Haenel's doctor encourages confession: her patients speak and their illnesses disappear, her ex-intern speaks and becomes a doctor again; but she processes her own guilt in silence, embarking upon a frustrating investigation that she's not equipped to handle while the world around her gets smaller and smaller — a promising career and a dead-end job, a spacious flat and a duvet on an office floor, and a literal hole in the ground that she can't climb out of without help.

  • Eaten Alive

    Eaten Alive

    A hotel on the outskirts of a twilit ghost town bathed in an artificial red haze, filled with a succession of rugs instead of carpet and illuminated by dozens of lamps instead of central lighting. This hotel is a failure of homeliness, a misuse of familiar elements (wardrobes in bathrooms, single beds in double rooms) that render it as inhospitable as its owner, a lonely, disturbed man who clearly wants to be among people but can't get close to anyone,…

  • The Color of Money

    The Color of Money

    A retired pool hustler turned whiskey salesman drinks a can of coke in a practice room after working on his game, as if to embrace the new-school, sugar-rush attitudes that have made him obsolete. His maniacally arrogant student values the short term thrill of a victory over the long term reward of making people believe you're a loser and taking their money when you show them that you're not. There's no time to wait for craft anymore. It's about the rush. Quick money for a quick game. Coke sells by the can while his whiskey fills boxes in storerooms. It doesn't sell anymore.

  • Loft

    Loft

    "perhaps she regrets it now, swallowing all that mud" // "what you write gets published, that's the nature of being a pro"

    Kurosawa's Twixt, in many ways. The stagnation of an award-winning author out of ideas, commissioned to churn out a generic, marketable romance novel and embroiled in a ghost story that may or may not be a fiction. "The eternal corpse," used here to describe a 1000 year old "mummy" preserved virtually intact by the mud of a swamp…

  • Bastards

    Bastards

    'it's good of you to take over"
    "it's normal, it's family"

    not even close to as opaque as i remember, but doubly horrifying — what hit me this time was how quickly and silently the tables are turned on Vincent Lindon, the captain of a ship forced to rent a tiny apartment, who sells his car and waits at a bus stop; stripped of his agency while thinking he's in control, until he's totally powerless to wield any influence over his devastated family, stranded on the hard shoulder trying to cross a motorway in the middle of the night. Costs outweigh benefits. Bad business.

  • Moneyball

    Moneyball

    "i got uptown problems, which are not problems at all"

    letting people in to decorate the mausoleum until it becomes a home — but you still have to die in it.

  • Moonlight

    Moonlight

    traffic sounds like the ocean if you need it to

  • Retribution

    Retribution

    I'm dead. Please, I wish everybody would die, too.
    I'm dead. Please, I wish everybody would die, too.
    I'm dead. Please, I wish everybody would die, too.
    I'm dead.

    the living poring over the bones of the past, wasteland begging to be used again, ghosts longing to live again — nothing but agonising loneliness; dying permanence, living death.

  • La La Land

    La La Land

    "maybe i'm not good enough"
    "yes you are"

    the failure of analog: boarded up revival houses, electronic pianos, radio crackle, fake stars, purple skies, kisses interrupted by ringtones and projector burnouts — die alone with your dreams, live forever with your compromises. A rebel without a cause. A city of stars.